Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2010

kentucky derby.

4:58 pm: normal office chatter, "busy" work day.

4:59 pm: Sudden the thunder in the background

5:00 pm: floor moves, sudden movement..employees head to the elevators like iron sticks to magnets

5:01 pm: Eerie quiet. You head out of the audit room only to see a football field of cubicles completely empty. How the heck did this happen? 3 minutes ago..the place was packed.

This 5:00 hurricane is a fascinating phenomenon. It's almost like people stare at the seconds hand in the clock, and once it hits 5..they head for the gates like horses at the kentucky derby.

Auditors are like the people standing near the derby gates..the dust from the track just falls on our faces, and we just sit there, shaking our heads. Yet, we head to the gates every day.


Just realized that the very payroll/adp reports we all enjoyed looking at in order to see how much our client contacts made, now seem to piss me off. Especially when your main contact, who couldn't tell a debit from a credit, makes significantly more than you, and leaves at 5. It's almost guaranteed to get you in a foul mood and yak with your team about the ridiculous salaries that certain employees get when compared to yours.

Is EY in trouble?

Looks like EY's in a little trouble. I mean, auditors can sued by investors occassionally, and it usually ends up in a quick settlement and people move on. But this is Lehman, just off the heels off a pretty intense recession. I don't know enough to explain what happened, but Francine Mckenna provides the gist of the story here.Will be interesting to see how this affects the big 4


"Can you explain the "forced ranking" system (e.g. GE style) that the Big 4 use to weed out employees. I'm about to join a Big 4 and want to know how to survive this."
Good question. There are really three factors that come into play here - a) CPA - This is huge. If you don't have it after 4 years at your firm, you're in the red zone. Try and get it out of the way as soon as you become eligible to take it. If you are not a good test taker, then it is even more imperative to begin the arduous process asap. If you are an audit superstar, but still don't have your CPA by this time, you're in danger. Why? Because it is a numbers game, and since firms have to cut a certain number, they just look at stats and don't look at each individual's particular scenario. b) Performance Reviews - Don't aim for an average rating. In this economy, it's not good enough. Yes, if people know you're good, you might end up getting put on horrendous cl…


Ever seen those scorsese or spielberg movies, where everything in the background is accentuated to the nth degree, so you notice everything and anything around the main characters. It's kinda like that in audit rooms. We're barely a few feet from each other without any walls really separating us. So if one member may not be the most fit individual (or even a steroid head for that matter), their heavy breathing neeeever fades into the background. When you try and focus on some document, it's really quiet, all of a sudden..mmmmhphhhhhhhhhhhh...mmmmpppphhhhh. Totally throws you off, and now you're trying everything in the book to zone it out. If it's not heavy breathing, it's people who talk to themselves, make weird sounds, rumbling stomachs. I mean, everyone does it, but these audit rooms essentially end up acting like a microphone next to those sounds. Hey, i'm not being offensive or anything, I'm just saying...

experienced hire

"What's your take on experienced hires? I'm at a national mid-size, and once I have my designation I was hoping to move into the big 4. Is it pretty tough to get established, or even to get into a big 4 at the moment?"
Good question. In the past, after 3-4 years at a mid-size or boutique, you could get in since there was always a need for senior associates/managers. At this very moment, it's highly unlikely. HR will have to come up with a darn good reason for hiring people from outside the firm when they laid off people at the same level just a few months ago. Down the road, it's very likely. It also depends on the firm and the location though. If KPMG Chicago is way short of seniors right now for example, then you have a shot there. As far as transition goes, it's not that bad. It'll take a few months to get used to the different software applications, and i guess public companies since most publics have big 4 auditors. The biggest transition would o…

this is one bad audit room

This picture has been making the rounds...pretty sad. Even if it is a joke, it's not improbable..